July 17th, 2019

Amazing 1K Shooting — 1000-Yard Multi-Match Records Broken

6BRA Dasher Montana Deep Creek

The bar is raised yet again — the standards for long-range accuracy keep improving. Two talented Montana shooters have both gone sub-four inches for a 1K 10-Match Aggregate. What that means is that over TEN matches, these guys have averaged under 0.4 MOA at 1000 yards. Think about that. Most shooters will be happy with half-MOA at ONE HUNDRED yards. These guys are beating that by a significant margin at ONE THOUSAND yards, and they have done it for a whole season.

1000 Yard Multi-Match IBS Records Fall at Deep Creek
David Torgerson and Tom Mousel both broke the 10-match Light Gun Group Aggregate (Agg) record. Tom also broke the 6-Match Light Gun Group Agg record. Prior to these brilliant performances, the existing IBS 10-Match Agg record was 4.3155″. David crushed that with a 3.7946″, as did Tom with a 3.8734″. The existing IBS 6-Match Agg Record was 3.072″ and Tom shot a 2.954″, which will be a new record.

This is the first time in history that anyone has Agg’d in the threes for the 10-Match and in the twos for the 6-Match! For those not familiar with 1000-yard IBS matches, the Season Aggregate is based on ten matches. All ten are averaged for the 10-match Agg and the best six are averaged for the 6-Match Agg.

Shooters Established New Records with Multiple Guns and Multiple Barrels
David shot the majority of his targets with a Bat B action and Broughton 5C barrel. But he also shot his BAT SV and Borden BRM with Krieger and Lilja barrels. David’s 1K rifles feature Deep Creek Tracker stocks and March scopes. He shot Vapor Trail 103gr bullets in the all the rigs, and all his barrels are chambered in 6BRA — a 40° wildcat based on the 6mmBR Norma. The 6BRA retains the long neck of the parent case, but has more case capacity. Some people say the 6BRA is a bit easier to tune than the 6mm Dasher, but it still achieves that ultra-accurate 2920-2960 FPS velocity node.

6BRA Dasher Montana Deep Creek

Tom Mousel shot his 6- and 10-match Aggs with two rifles, splitting time between his BAT Neuvo LR and Borden BRM. Both are chambered in 6BRA and he shot multiple Krieger barrels. Tom told us: “Thanks everyone. David was pretty steady all year, while I took more of an up-and-down route. At one point early on I thought there’s no way this would be salvaged.”

6BRA Dasher Montana Deep Creek

The Neuvo-actioned gun (shown below) features a McMillan/Wheeler LRB stock, with a March scope on top. In that rifle, Tom shot 103gr Vapor Trails. Mousel’s Borden BRM gun features a Deep Creek Tracker stock and Sightron scope. In that 6BRA rifle he shot 103gr Roy Hunter bullets.

6BRA Dasher Montana Deep Creek
Tom Mousel Rifle with BAT Neuvo LR action. This action is a Left-loading Drop Port — cartridges eject out the bottom of the action.

COMMENT by Alex Wheeler
If this doesn’t make you give up the idea you need that one hummer barrel to win I don’t know what will. Yes, you need the best equipment, but you also need the best tune and knowledge to stay on top of it. These two guys are some of the most dedicated tuners and testers I know. Well done! And well deserved!

It IS noteworthy that multiple rigs were used. Posting on Facebook, Alex H. said: “Holy ****! Tom did it not only with multiple barrels, but with two rifles AND multiple barrels? That is some outstanding performance! And Glenn K observed: “It was an awesome season to watch unfold. Congrats guys!”

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July 17th, 2019

Big Sale at Brownells This Week — Plus Gun Give-Aways

Brownells rifle contest giveaway prime blowout sale

Brownells — Prime Time Blowout, Contest and Sale

Brownells has been running a big Prime Time Blowout Sale this week, July 15-19, 2019. For 5 days, Monday through Friday, Brownells will give away a new rifle away each day. More importantly (since the chances of winning are slim), Brownells is offering huge savings on guns, barreled actions, tools, ammo and more. Here are just a few of the great deals. If you’re looking for some great bargains, head over to Brownells.com before 11:59 PM on Friday July 19, 2019.

Remington 700 Actions, starting at $329.99 (Save up to 33% or $165 Off)
Howa 6mm Creedmoor Heavy Barreled Action, $429.99 ($115 Off)
Brownells BRN-22 Rimfire Barreled Receiver, $124.99 ($30 Off)
Norma Tac-223 Ammo 55gr Ammo, $149.99 ($50 Off)
Vortex Razor GenII HD Scopes, up to $500 Off
Matrix Stripped Lower, $35.99 (34% Off)

Brownells rifle contest giveaway prime blowout sale

Brownells rifle contest giveaway prime blowout sale

Brownells rifle contest giveaway prime blowout sale

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July 16th, 2019

How to Shoot DOTS — Insanely Small Groups at 200 Yards

200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia tiny group 6 PPC

This site is for and about accurate shooters. So today we feature the short-range group Benchrest game, where it’s all about shooting tiny groups in the ones and even “zeros”. Seeing the tiny groups 6 PPC aces produce, it’s easy to think the precision is all about the equipment. But there is a lot more involved. A talented human still has to watch the flags, run the gun properly, and tune his loads for the conditions. Here are some tips from one of the world’s best benchresters, Charles Huckeba.

Texan Charles Huckeba was the top individual shooter at the 2013 World Benchrest Championships (WBC) held near Sydney Australia in October 2013. In this video, 2013 WBC Two-Gun Overall winner Charles shoots a 1/8th MOA group at 200 yards — “a little bitty dot” as a fellow Team USA shooter observes. That’s impressive. If you can describe Huckeba’s style in a nutshell it would be “smooth, consistent, and rapid but not hurried”.

Charles also employed some unusual hardware. In the video, take a close look at the joystick on the Farley Coaxial front rest. There’s no knob at the end. In its place is a small, wood ammo caddy. Charles removed the standard knob from the handle of his Farley rest and replaced it with a home-made wood block that holds cartridges for the record target. The 10.5-lb Light Varmint rifle is chambered in 6PPC with a BAT Machine Action and a composite wood and carbon-fiber stock.

Watch Charles Huckeba Shoot 1/8 MOA, 200-yard group at World Benchrest Championships

Here is the actual 200-yard, 5-shot group Charles shot in the video. Photo (by Stuart Elliot) taken through the lens of Huckeba’s 50X March scope (reticle has 1/16th MOA Dot).
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia
200 yard benchrest group charles huckeba australia

Analyzing the Fine Points — What Makes Huckeba So Good

Short-range benchrest shooter Boyd Allen saw some interesting things in Huckeba’s WBC performance, as captured on video. Boyd noticed Huckeba’s smooth gun-handling and efficient loading. But Boyd also spied some interesting equipment, including an innovative joystick “handle-caddy”.

1. Low Friction Bags — When Huckeba slid his rifle, there was very little apparent friction. The front bag features the new 3M material (ScotchLite) on the sliding surfaces. The rear Protektor bag has ears of the same low-friction material.

2. Pause Before Chambering — While he was watching the flags and deciding when to start firing, Charles kept his first round in the action, but out of the barrel’s chamber, probably so as not to heat the cartridge and change the round’s point of impact.

Charles Huckeba PPC World Benchrest joystick handle3. Ammo Caddy on Joystick Arm – Charles shoots a Right Bolt/Left Port action, so he pulls his rounds with his left hand. Note that Huckeba’s record rounds rest in a small, wood ammo caddy attached to the end of the joystick shaft. Look carefully, you’ll see the wood ammo block in place of the normal black ball at the end of the joystick. That allows Charles to pull shots with the absolute minimum of hand movement. Ingenious! Huckeba is very fast, with a great economy of motion. I believe that because his ammo was literally at hand, Charles was better able to keep his focus on aiming and the flags.

4. Smooth-Cycling BAT Action — Note how smoothly Huckeba’s action operates. When Charles lifts the bolt handle (to extract a round and cock the firing pin), this does not disturb the rifle. Likewise, as he closes the bolt, the gun doesn’t wobble. The smooth action allows Charles to hold point of aim even when shooting relatively quickly. Huckeba’s BAT action is chrome-moly steel. Some shooters believe this metal makes for a smoother action than stainless steel or aluminum.

5. Long-Wheelbase Stock — The wood and carbon fiber stock is light, long, and stiff. Yet, importantly, the stock is also well-damped. The longer-than-average stock length (with extended forearm) seems to help the gun track well without jumping or rocking. The longer forearm allows a longer “wheelbase”, effectively shifting the weight distribution rearward (less weight on the front, more weight on the rear). This places a greater share of the gun’s weight on the rear bag, as compared to a more conventional benchrest stock. Huckeba’s stock, built by Bob Scoville, is at the cutting edge of short-range benchrest design. Its light-weight balsa wood and carbon fiber construction provides a combination of stiffness and vibration damping that allows its relatively long fore-end to be fully utilized to increase the weight on the rear bag (always an issue with 10.5-pound rifles).

To learn more about this benchrest stock design, read the comments by stock-builder Bob Scoville in our PPC with Pedigree story in our Gun of the Week Archives. Bob observed:

“There is a lot more to the structure of the stocks than meets the eye. The carbon fiber skin with which I cover the stocks creates a light, tough exterior surface. However, this contributes very little to the overall performance of the stocks. The real strength and stiffness is the result of an internal beam utilizing balsa core/carbon fiber technology.

This type construction can be found in aircraft, race cars, powerboats, and sailboats. It is interesting to note, balsa has the highest strength to weight ratio of all woods and carbon fiber is one of the lowest stretch (modulus of elasticity) relative to weight of all materials. The marriage of these two materials is common in the high-performance world. Additionally, balsa is used commercially for vibration dampening and sound reduction.”

Video find by Boyd Allen. Video by Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply, Brisbane, Australia.
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July 14th, 2019

Save Time and Bullets — Fire-Form with your Fouler Shots

Fire-forming fouler barrel life fouling shots

PPC Fire-formingHere’s a tip for guys who shoot the 6 PPC, 6 Dasher, 6 BRA, .284 Shehane, or other wildcat cartridges that require fire-forming. Use your fouler shots to fire-form new cases. That way your fouler shots do “double-duty” and you get your brass fire-formed without putting extra rounds through your expensive barrel.

This procedure is recommended by Joel Kendrick, the 2004 IBS 600-yard Shooter of the Year. After he cleans his barrel, Joel knows it takes two or three shots to foul in the bore before accuracy returns. When shooting his PPC, Joel uses those fouler shots to fire-form his new brass. Joel explains: “I like to have relatively new brass always ready. By fire-forming a couple cases after each barrel-cleaning during a match, by the end of the weekend I’ve got a dozen or more freshly fire-formed cases to put into the rotation. If you do this with your fouler shots you get your fire-forming accomplished without using up any extra barrel life.”

This not only saves barrel wear, but it saves you trips to the range for the purpose of fire-forming. We thank Joel for this smart suggestion. For those who do not have a dedicated barrel for fire-forming, this should help keep your round-count down. Note: With this fouler fire-forming routine, you should ALWAYS do the fire-forming with the SAME POWDER you load for your match ammo. Joel currently works as the Supplier Quality Process Engineer for MMI-TruTec, a company that offers barrel surface coatings that can further extend your barrel life.

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July 12th, 2019

Lapua Will Open New Rimfire Test Center in Ohio

Marengo Ohio Lapua Rimfire test testing center lot ammo ammunition tunnel facility new

Good news for rimfire shooters! Lapua will open a new rimfire test center in Ohio in the fall of 2019. At this new facility, which will replicate Lapua’s current rimfire test center in Arizona, shooters can test various lots of Lapua rimfire ammunition to determine what shoots best in their firearms. The new location will have a full 100 meter testing tunnel, with electronic target readouts for both 50 meters and 100 meters. Customers have the option to send their rifles in for testing or schedule an onsite appointment to participate and view the test process.

“We’re taking our established practices and testing capabilities from our Mesa, AZ location to our new, second location in Ohio, offering customers state-of-the-art rimfire ammunition testing,” said Adam Braverman, Director of Sales and Marketing.

Patterned after the world-renowned Lapua Service Center in Schönebeck, Germany, the new Ohio facility will give shooters the chance to test various types and lots of rimfire ammunition, in their own firearms, under ideal conditions. Customers interested in performing ammo tests at either USA Lapua Rimfire Test locations (Arizona or Ohio), may call (480) 898-2731 or email rimfiretest@capstonepg.com .

Marengo Ohio Lapua Rimfire test testing center lot ammo ammunition tunnel facility new

Lapua announced: “Lapua … is proud to announce our second USA Lapua Rimfire Test Center at the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio. The new Lapua Rimfire Test Center will offer competitive shooters and consumers alike the opportunity to match individual lots of Lapua ammunition to their match rifles and pistols. The new East Location will officially open in late Fall of 2019. All of the capabilities of the new test center will replicate our current Lapua Rimfire Test Center in Mesa, AZ.”

Marengo Ohio Lapua Rimfire test testing center lot ammo ammunition tunnel facility new

“We’re excited to partner with Lapua and bring this facility and test capabilities to our current and potential customers,” stated Jim Henderson, Director of Competitions at the Cardinal Shooting Center, “We feel this will help many consumers, as well as junior and collegiate teams…”

About Lapua
Lapua produces bullets, brass, and loaded rimfire and centerfire ammunition for civilian and professional use. Lapua is a part of the Capstone Precision Group, exclusive U.S. distributor for Berger, Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK-Rimfire products. For more information, visit Lapua.com.

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July 12th, 2019

Save $10-$30 Today at Brownells, With Free Shipping

Brownells Sale codes discount July 2019

Better jump on this money-saving promo boys and girls, because the deals expire tonight, at 11:59 pm CDT on July 12, 2019. And write down those Brownells Coupon Codes, because this special deal can save you some serious bucks: $10 off $100, $20 off $175, and a whopping $30 off $250. Plus, with each of these discount deals you get FREE Shipping as well. That could easily save you $10-$15 on a typical order (HazMat fees extra).

These Coupon Codes apply to both regularly-priced and SALE merchandise — pretty much everything currently in inventory (but no back-orders). Here are some of the current items ON SALE at Brownells.

Brownells Sale codes discount July 2019

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July 11th, 2019

Get Smart — Read FREE Applied Ballistics TECH Articles

Want to improve your understanding of Ballistics, Bullet Design, Bullet Pointing, and other shooting-related tech topics? Well here’s a treasure trove of gun expertise. Applied Ballistics offers three dozen FREE tech articles on its website. Curious about Coriolis? — You’ll find answers. Want to understand the difference between G1 and G7 BC? — There’s an article about that.

“Doc” Beech, technical support specialist at Applied Ballistics says these articles can help shooters working with ballistics programs: “One of the biggest issues I have seen is the misunderstanding… about a bullet’s ballistic coefficient (BC) and what it really means. Several papers on ballistic coefficient are available for shooters to review on the website.”

Credit Shooting Sports USA Editor John Parker for finding this great resource. John writes: “Our friends at Applied Ballistics have a real gold mine of articles on the science of accurate shooting on their website. This is a fantastic source for precision shooting information[.] Topics presented are wide-ranging — from ballistic coefficients to bullet analysis.”

READ All Applied Ballistics Articles HERE »

Here are six (6) of our favorite Applied Ballistics articles, available for FREE as PDF files. There are 31 more, all available on the Applied Ballistics Articles Webpage.

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July 9th, 2019

Tool Time: Case-Neck Sorting Tool Works Fast

Sinclair Case Neck Sorting tool reloading benchrest neck-turning

Case Neck thickness sorting gauge Sinclair accurateshooter.comHe who dies with the most toys wins — right? Well Sinclair has another interesting gadget you can add to your reloading bench. The Sinclair Case Neck Sorting Tool lets you quickly sort brass by neck-wall thickness. For those who shoot “no-turn” brass, this can improve neck-tension consistency. Large variances in neck-wall thickness can cause inconsistent neck “grip” on the bullet. Generally, we’ve found that more consistent neck tension will lower ES and (usually) improve accuracy. We know some guys who shoot no-turn 6mmBR brass in competition with considerable success — but their secret is pre-sorting their brass by neck-wall thickness. Cases that are out-of-spec are set aside for sighters (or are later skim-turned).

Watch Case Neck Sorting Tool Operation in Video

How the Case Neck Sorting Tool Works
Here’s how the Sinclair tool works. Cases are rotated under an indicator tip while they are supported on a case-neck pilot and a support pin through the flash hole. The unit has a nice, wide base and low profile so it is stable in use. The tool works for .22 through .45 caliber cases and can be used on .17- and .20-caliber cases with the optional carbide alignment rod. The MIC-4 pin fits both .060 (PPC size) and .080 (standard size) flash holes. Sinclair’s Case Neck Sorting Tool can be ordered with or without a dial indicator. The basic unit without dial indicator (item 749-006-612WB) is priced at $59.99. You can also buy the tool complete with dial indicator (item 749-007-129WB) for $89.99. IMPORTANT: This sorting tool requires caliber-specific Case Neck Pilots which must be ordered separately.

Editor’s Comment: The purpose of this Sinclair tool is rapid, high-quantity sorting of cartridge brass to ascertain significant case-neck-wall thickness variations. Consider this a rapid culling/sorting tool. If you are turning your necks, you will still need a quality ball micrometer tool to measure neck-wall thickness (to .0005) before and after neck-turning operations.

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July 7th, 2019

Sunday GunDay — 7mm WSM Hunter with Match-Grade Accuracy

wyoming 7mm wsm winchester short magnum elk rifle hunter hunting Win mag

Ric Horst’s 7 WSM is a game-slayer with serious long-range accuracy. Here’s a hunting rifle (with tactical trappings) that performs as well as some purpose-built benchrest rifles, delivering half-MOA ten-shot groups at 1000 yards–from bipod no less! That was noteworthy in itself. But Ric’s rifle, built to take game in Wyoming’s backcountry, also proves the viability of the 7mm Win Short Mag as a true precision cartridge. With the capacity to drive hard-hitting, ultra-high-BC bullets, the 7 WSM is a bonafied rival to the big 30s. This rifle sets a very high bar for long-range hunting rigs.

The Challenge: Creating the Ultimate Long-Range Hunting Rifle

Q: Tell us how you got interested in the 7 WSM and how you got started on this project?

Ric Horst: Chris Matthews and I were invited to help out with a new hunting show on a cable network. We wanted to showcase a rifle that wasn’t typical for the TV program which was about Antelope and Mule Deer hunting in Wyoming. We considered a variety of calibers, but then Sierra announced their new 175gr (.284) MatchKing and that got our attention. In Wyoming, the key thing in choosing a caliber is the availability of good high-BC bullets–the wind will own you out here. After seeing Sierra’s projected BC for the 175s this seemed to be a no brainer. So I told Chris to make the rifle a 7mm WSM.

Q: What were your objectives with this project rifle? Sounds like you wanted to build a state of the art long-range hunting rig?

Our goals were simple–we wanted a tack-driver with long-range capabilities, from 400 to 1000 yards. Really, at the time, the choice of the 7 WSM was easy–no one else was really doing it, and if they were, they weren’t talking about it. So we wanted to be the first make it work, one way or another. There were actually no real surprises or problems along the way, other than it was the first time I was shooting a 7mm and the accuracy of the 175gr bullets was better than I expected. I have total faith in Chris’s gunsmithing abilities. This 7 WSM is the sixth rifle he’s built for me–and they’ve all been tack-drivers.

Q: Give us your perspectives on living and shooting in Wyoming. What makes it such a great hunting ground? How do the game mix and terrain dictate your selection of a rifle?

My requirements for my rifles are, I guess, unique. I like tactical-style rifles. This “style” seems to fit my type of hunting here in Wyoming–tough, rugged terrain where you need to be able to make the long shot should one present itself. Living in Wyoming? Well, if you choose to live in the “out of town” places you need to be well-prepared and tough. Going to town means a 50-mile trip. You don’t just run to the convenience store if you need something. Plus the weather is hard in the winter and always windy. We joke that we have just two seasons, three months of summer and nine months of winter. Our spring and fall are each about two weeks long.

Despite the weather, Wyoming is a great place for a hunter. Game here is second to none: deer (whitetail and mulies ), antelope, elk, sheep, moose, plus varmints galore. What is great about my location is that I can shoot just about anytime I want. I have the ability to shoot as far as 3500 yards out my back door if I choose. Here’s a shot of my playground.

Putting It Together: Exceptional Components and Accurate Ammo

Q: Your 7 WSM has logged 10-shot groups at 1000 yards that could win many 1K benchrest matches. What kind of components does it take to deliver this kind of accuracy?

There is nothing super-exotic in this rifle, but it IS fitted out with some of the best components on the market. We did start with a factory action, however, a Remington 700 short action. Chris trued the action, added an SSG over-sized bolt knob, and fitted the action with a Broughton 5C, 9-twist #7 contour barrel finished at 24″. To reduce recoil we added a Badger brake. The stock is a fiberglass McMillan HTG (General Purpose Hunting) stock in Desert Camo. (This McMillan stock design replicates the original M40A1 Marine Sniper Rifle stock.) Since this is a repeater we added a Wyatts Mag Box. The gun features Badger bottom metal, Badger scope rail and Badger Rings. The Scope is a 4-16 Nikon Tactical, which, so far, has proven to be excellent. All the metal is Teflon-coated in Mil-Spec OD Green. I have a bubble-level mounted on the scope rail.

Q: To achieve the results you’re getting you must have exceptional hand-loads. What is your reloading procedure and do you have any “secret tips” to share?

I use Winchester-brand brass and Winchester Large Rifle Magnum primers. My current load is 64.0 grains of H4831sc for the Hornady 162s (2950 fps) and 61.0 grains of H4831sc for the Sierra 175s (2830 fps).

The only sizing dies I have used are the Basic Redding FL dies–I have since started using the Forester Ultra-Seater and used it when I shot the outstanding groups. My reloading technique is pretty basic. I full-length size and trim all to length. I use the RCBS powered Trim Mate™ station to do most of the brass prep. I do use the VLD case mouth deburrer. I uniform the primer pocket and chamfer as well. I then fire-form those prepped cases. I’ve noted that the new brass usually shoots just as well as fire-formed cases. I then use the FL die to bump the shoulder back .002″. I haven’t really noticed and major difference between Forester and Redding dies except price. I don’t have any “special” secret loading techniques. If you use quality components, I’ve found that you don’t need to weigh this weigh that etc. I tried that for years and it never really showed results to justify the time and effort. I quit doing all the weighing ( except for bullets ) and I shoot just as well. The two things I am anal about are the powder charge and seating depth–these all have to be exactly the same for each round!

I do take time to uniform the brass. First, when I get a bag of brass, I’ll check to make sure all the flash holes are centered, and I’ll pitch the ones that aren’t. Then I’ll measure the shortest case and trim all to that length (after ensuring that fits my chamber). Next, I’ll uniform the primer pockets, and debur and bevel the flash hole on both sides. Beveling both sides is one trick I think helps keep ES down. By beveling the flash side it basically takes the flash and tapers/funnels it to the hole. I think you get more consitency with the primer flash this way. Finally I’ll debur/champfer the inside and outside of the neck using a VLD chamferer.

After firing the cases once, I clean them all up and make one pass on the neck turner just to “clean” the necks to a consistient diameter. Note, I am not necessarily turning for a specific diameter because I have enough clearance to start with. I do this light turn just for consistency. Sometimes the neck turner might only shave a bit off one side.

Q: What’s your load-testing procedure? Do you have any special methods to evaluate/tune your loads?

Again, my methods are pretty simple. I start with the Sierra Load Manual, select the bullet weight, then find the max load for a recommended accurate powder. I like Hodgdon powders, so I start with an “H” powder with an appropriate burn rate, drop the “max” load about 0.5 grains and start there. Typically there is a sweet spot within half a grain up or down from that starting point. I usually seat my bullets to touch the lands or seat just in a bit. I feel this makes up for any bullet-run out when seating them.

When load-testing, I try to get 100-yard groups to be half an inch or less (quarter-MOA is pretty good for me, but not something I can count on regularly.) I then go to the 300- and 500-yard steel plates to see if the load holds its accuracy. If it does, then the load is good to go. However, I will shoot a 5-shot group every now and again to see if I am still in tune. In fact I was re-testing the 162gr A-Max and 175 gr SMK loads the day I shot the screamers at 1013 yards. Two great groups back to back.

Q: How does your 7 WSM perform in terms of recoil and accuracy? Has it met your expectations?

This rifle is by far one of the most fun rifles I have ever had. The recoil is very minimal with either of the loads and the rifle just plain flat-out shoots. The break-in took all of 21 rounds I think. This rifle shoots sub-2″ groups at 500 yards all day every day (often closer to 1″). Note that I don’t do any shooting from a bench and rests except for the initial load work up. The rest of the time I shoot from a bipod. I would really like to stress that I shoot exclusively with bi-pod and “sand-sock”. So many guys out there think that you have to shoot from a bench to get outstanding results. This simply isn’t true. If you are a disciplined shooter and have correct shooting techniques you can do amazing things from any shooting position. Long Range doesn’t have to be from a rest or bench!

What makes this rifle special is that it has an identical twin, built by Chris for my hunting partner Steve. Both rifles shoot exactly the same–same accuracy, same velocity, same trajectories. I never shot a 1K group with Steve’s gun, but at other distances, including 500 yards, it has performed identically to mine. I shot a sub-moa group of 12 shots one day with the Twins. I shot six shots from each rifle, alternating rifles between shots. Remember this is from the prone position and off a bipod–same load, two different rifles–and it produced a single, sub-MOA group. Now that’s consistency. Both these rifles I call point and shoot rifles–point them on target and they’ll shoot it.

Q: What technique do you use when shooting from bipod?

I basically do Froggy’s technique when shooting from a bipod. I get my natural point of aim, then push forward a bit to pre-load the bipod legs. In gripping the stock, I use just my two middle fingers to apply firm pressure straight back into my shoulder. I’m careful not to torque with the thumb or pinky finger. With my focus on the intended point of aim, I’ll let the cross hairs blur a bit and gently press the trigger until it goes boom. Then follow through, watch for the impact, and chamber the next round.

Looking Out to 1000 Yards, and the Results from Ric’s 7 WSM

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July 6th, 2019

Don’t Roast Your Ammo — Watch Temps in Hot Summer Months

Heat Map USA color chart

Well folks, it’s July 6th already — the means we’re moving into “peak heat” summer conditions. It’s vitally important to keep your ammo at “normal” temps during the hot summer months. Even if you use “temp-insensitive” powders, studies suggest that pressures can still rise dramatically when the entire cartridge gets hot, possibly because of primer heating. It’s smart to keep your loaded ammo in an insulated storage unit, possibly with a Blue Ice Cool Pak if you expect it to get quite hot. Don’t leave your ammo in the car or truck — temps can exceed 140° in a vehicle parked in the sun.

Ammo cool storage

Bosch Insulated tool caseTo learn more about how ambient temperature (and primer choice) affect pressures (and hence velocities) you should read the article Pressure Factors: How Temperature, Powder, and Primer Affect Pressure by Denton Bramwell. In that article, the author uses a pressure trace instrument to analyze how temperature affects ammo performance. Bramwell’s tests yielded some fascinating results.

For example, barrel temperature was a key factor: “Both barrel temperature and powder temperature are important variables, and they are not the same variable. If you fail to take barrel temperature into account while doing pressure testing, your test results will be very significantly affected. The effect of barrel temperature is around 204 PSI per F° for the Varget load. If you’re not controlling barrel temperature, you about as well might not bother controlling powder temperature, either. In the cases investigated, barrel temperature is a much stronger variable than powder temperature.”

Powder Heat Sensitivity Comparison Test

Our friend Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog recently published a fascinating comparison test of four powders: Hodgdon H4350, Hodgdon Varget, IMR 4451, and IMR 4166. The first two are Hodgdon Extreme powders, while the latter two are part of IMR’s Enduron line of propellants.

CLICK HERE to VIEW FULL TEST RESULTS

The testers measured the velocity of the powders over a wide temperature range, from 25° F to 140° F. Hodgdon H4350 proved to be the most temp stable of the four powders tested.

Precision Rifle Blog Temperature Stability test hodgdon varget H4350 Enduron IMR 4451

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July 6th, 2019

How To Clean Rifle Barrels Effectively and Efficiently

Criterion Barrels Cleaning Clean Solvent rod guide Hoppes Wipe-Out

This article comes from the Criterion Barrels website. It provides good, conservative advice about barrel cleaning. Understand that cleaning methods may need to be adapted to fit the amount and type of fouling (and the particular barrel). In general, we do try to minimize brushing, and we follow the procedures Criterion recommends respecting the crown/muzzle. We have also had very good success using wet patches followed by Wipe-Out bore foam. Along with the practices outlined by Criterion below, you may want to try Wipe-Out foam. Just be sure to use a fitted cleaning rod bore guide, to keep foam out of the action recesses and trigger assembly.

The above video shows how to apply Wipe-Out or other bore-cleaning foam. We use a slightly different method. First, we use 3-4 wet patches to remove loose carbon fouling. Then we apply the foam as shown, but usually from the muzzle end (with bore guide in chamber). Here’s the important point — after 20-30 minutes, once the bubbles have dissipated, we apply the foam a second time, getting more of the active ingredients into the barrel. We then patch out, as shown, after 3-4 hours.

What is the Best Way to Clean a Rifle Barrel?

We are asked this question quite frequently alongside requests for recommended break-in procedures. Improper barrel cleaning methods can damage or destroy a barrel, leading to diminished accuracy or even cause a catastrophic failure. When it comes to barrel maintenance, there are a number of useful techniques that we have not listed. Some techniques may work better with different barrel types. This series of recommendations is designed to incorporate a number of methods that the Criterion Barrels staff has used successfully both in the shop and on their personal rifles. Please feel free to to list your own recommendations in the below comments section.

We recommend the use of the following components during rifle cleaning:

• Cloth patches (sized for the appropriate caliber)
• Brass jag sized properly for your bore
• One-piece coated cleaning rod
• General bore cleaner/solvent (Example: Hoppes #9)
• Copper solvent of your choosing (Example: Sweets/KG 12)
• Fitted cleaning rod bore guide
• Plastic AP brush or toothbrush
• Q-Tips
• Plastic dental picks
• CLP or rust preventative type cleaner

There are a number of schools of thought relating to the frequency in which a barrel should be cleaned. At minimum we recommend cleaning a barrel after each shooting session to remove condensation, copper, and carbon build-up. Condensation is the greatest immediate threat, as it can cause the barrel to rust while the rifle sits in storage. Copper and carbon build-up may negatively impact future barrel performance, increasing the possibility of a failure in feed or function. Fouling should be removed whenever possible.

The below tips will help limit the wear of different parts of your barrel during routine maintenance, helping extend the life of the barrel and improving its performance.

The Crown
The crown is the portion of the barrel where the bullet loses contact with the lands and grooves and proceeds to exit the firearm. The area most critical to accuracy potential is the angle where the bullet last touches the bore of the barrel.

Avoid damage to this area by using a plastic toothbrush and CLP type cleaner to scrub the crown from the exterior of the barrel. Even the most minimal variation in wear to the crown will negatively impact barrel performance, so be careful to avoid nicking or wearing away this part of the barrel.

Reducing Cleaning Rod Wear to the Crown
When running a patch through the barrel, place the muzzle about a ¼” from a hard surface that runs flat at a perpendicular angle to the cleaning rod’s direction of travel, like a wall or the edge of a work bench (pictured). When the jag impacts the hard surface, retract the cleaning rod and remove the patch.

By withdrawing the jag prior to its exit from the barrel, you are limiting the possibility of the brass dragging upon the crown if the rod is at all bent or misaligned. The soft cloth patch will continue to serve as the point of contact between the jag and the barrel, minimizing potential wear.

If possible, insert the rod through the chamber, pushing it forward toward the muzzle. Some rifles, such as the M1 Garand or M14, will require you to insert the cleaning rod through the muzzle. In these situations the use of a cleaning rod guide is recommended to limit the friction placed upon the crown.

Avoid using cleaning rod segments for scraping carbon from the recessed muzzle of an AR-15 barrel. We used this trick in the Marine Corps to impress the armorers and NCO’s with the cleanliness of our muzzles, but it likely played a significant role in reducing the service life of the rifle barrel in question.

Use a Q-Tip soaked in solvent to remove any copper or carbon residue from the recessed muzzle of an AR-15 barrel. A little bit of remaining carbon on the face of the muzzle will not negatively affect bullet travel so long as the crown edge remains consistent around the circumference of the bore.

The Lands and Grooves
This portion of the barrel may experience reduced efficiency due to copper fouling and cleaning rod damage. If copper fouling takes place during the initial break-in of the rifle, make sure to check our barrel break-in article.

(more…)

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July 5th, 2019

Optimize Bullet RPM with Berger Twist Rate Stability Calculator

Berger twist rate calculator

Berger twist rate calculatorBerger Twist-Rate Stability Calculator
On the Berger Bullets website you’ll find a handy Twist-Rate Stability Calculator that predicts your gyroscopic stability factor (SG) based on mulitiple variables: velocity, bullet length, bullet weight, barrel twist rate, ambient temperature, and altitude. This cool tool tells you if your chosen bullet will really stabilize in your barrel.


CLICK HERE to Go to TWIST RATE CALCULATOR PAGE »

How to Use Berger’s Twist Rate Calculator
Using the Twist Rate Calculator is simple. Just enter the bullet DIAMETER (e.g. .264), bullet WEIGHT (in grains), and bullet overall LENGTH (in inches). On its website, Berger conveniently provides this info for all its bullet types. For other brands, we suggest you weigh three examples of your chosen bullet, and also measure the length on three samples. Then use the average weight and length of the three. To calculate bullet stability, simply enter your bullet data (along with observed Muzzle Velocity, outside Temperature, and Altitude) and click “Calculate SG”. Try different twist rate numbers (and recalculate) until you get an SG value of 1.4 (or higher).

Gyroscopic Stability (SG) and Twist Rate
Berger’s Twist Rate Calculator provides a predicted stability value called “SG” (for “Gyroscopic Stability”). This indicates the Gyroscopic Stability applied to the bullet by spin. This number is derived from the basic equation: SG = (rigidity of the spinning mass)/(overturning aerodynamic torque).

Berger twist rate calculator

If you have an SG under 1.0, your bullet is predicted not to stabilize. If you have between 1.0 and 1.1 SG, your bullet may or may not stabilize. If you have an SG greater than 1.1, your bullet should stabilize under optimal conditions, but stabilization might not be adequate when temperature, altitude, or other variables are less-than-optimal. That’s why Berger normally recommends at least 1.5 SG to get out of the “Marginal Stability” zone.

In his book Applied Ballistics For Long-Range Shooting, Bryan Litz (Berger Ballistician) recommends at least a 1.4 SG rating when selecting a barrel twist for a particular bullet. This gives you a safety margin for shooting under various conditions, such as higher or lower altitudes or temperatures.

Story idea from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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July 3rd, 2019

Shooting USA: 2019 New Products Plus Multi-Gun Nationals

USPSA Multi-Gun Championship Nevada boulder city SFC Daniel Horner

This week’s Shooting USA episode has two great features. Part One covers the USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals, a 3-gun match with fast action. A lengthy second sequence covers new guns and gear at the 2019 NRA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. This Shooting USA Episode airs Wednesday July 3rd on the Outdoor Channel, at 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 pm Central.

USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals

If you are a fan of 3-Gun competition, tune in to Shooting USA this week. The latest episode features the 2019 USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals held in Florida. You can see many of the nation’s top 3-Gun shooters attacking some very challenging stages with pistols, rifles, and shotguns.

USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals
Image from Sierry Whiskey Video from 2017 USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals.

Multi-gun competition has evolved considerably since it started 30 years ago. The firearms are more sophisticated, the optics are better, and the stage times are much faster. Still, the challenge remains the same: How fast can you shoot multiple targets, with the score determined by speed and accuracy? For the best in the sport, the answer is very fast indeed…

New Products for 2019 — Guns, Optics, Electronics and More

Shooting USA was in Indianapolis for the 2019 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits. At the big event, Shooting USA’s teams found some interesting new products, such as Hornady’s impressive new A-Tip bullets, and new handguns from Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Volquartsen. Hornady also displayed a new Kestrel 5700 Meter with advanced 4DOF Ballistic Solver.

Canik TP9S-FX Pistol

Colt King Cobra Carry

Kestrel 5700 with Hornady 4DOF

Hornady A-Tip Bullets

EoTech Vudoo 5-25x50mm Compact Scope

Les Baer Gunsite Commemorative Pistol

Revolution Targets LR Frame

Smith & Wesson Model 610 10mm Revolver

Springfield Scorpion Precision Rimfire Pistol

Volquartsen St. Victor .308 AR Rifle

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July 2nd, 2019

Tuner TECH — POI Shift with Barrel Tuner Position Changes

Tuner Pascal Bukys Point of Impact shift test 6 PPC benchrest

6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine waveHave a good look at the photos below — this may be one of the most noteworthy target strings we’ve ever published. What you can see is the effect of barrel tuner position on point of impact (POI). You can clearly see that the tuner position alters the up/down POI location in a predictable fashion.

This remarkable 15-shot sequence was shot by French benchrester Pascal Fischbach using his 6 PPC fitted with a CG (Carlito Gonzales) action and a Bukys barrel tuner.

Pascal reports: “After [bullet] seating and load validation, I put the Bukys tuner on, screwing it out 10 turns. According to Carlito, the CG’s super stiff action-to-barrel fit gives a faster vibration modulus that is detrimental below 10 turns [position of the tuner].” Pascal’s procedure was to screw out the tuner 1/4 turn progressively from one shot to the next. He shot one bullet at each tuner position, with a total of 15 shots.

15-Shot Sequence with Tuner Changes
6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave
CLICK HERE to SEE Large Version of Complete Test Strip (All 15 shots in a row).

Left Half of Target Strip (shots with 1/4 rotation change of tuner in sequence)
6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave

Right Half of Target Strip (shots with 1/4 rotation change of tuner in sequence)
6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave

Pascal observed: “Note the point of impact displacement [from shot to shot] tracks clearly along a sinusoide (sine wave curve).” This is indeed notable and significant! This shows how the tuner’s ability to change barrel harmonics can alter the position of the muzzle as each bullet exits, resulting in a higher or lower POI. Pascal sent his results to Carlito Gonzales in Argentina for analysis.

Pascal poses this question to readers: “Guess which three positions Carlito recommends to try?”

Editor’s Note: While this target sequence clearly shows how tuner position can alter bullet point of impact, this, by itself, does not tell us which tuner position(s) are best for accuracy. That will require further multi-shot group testing, involving careful experimentation with tuner position (and powder charge weights). But for those folks who doubt that a tuner can make a difference on a short, fat barrel, just take another look at the photos. The up/down changes are undeniable, and noteworthy in the wave pattern they follow.

Shooting Set-up and Test Conditions:
Pascal did this test at an outdoor range under very good conditions: “This was shot at my home range, outdoors, with four Smiley flags. The range is a narrow cut in high woods. Wind was consistent with readable flags. I started testing the tuner from 10 turns out and on to 15. I recently… found a sweet spot very close to the rearmost position of the tuner, so the rigidity provided by this super long tenon (just short of 70mm) was not a reason to overlook the recommended Bukys tuning procedure.”

6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave

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July 1st, 2019

BargainFinder 197: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Bud’s Gun Shop — Howa American Flag Chassis Rifle, $1100.99

Howa HCR APX American Flag Cerakote 6.5 Creedmoor PRS .308 Win Tactical Rifle

What better way to celebrate the 4th of July this week than with a Stars and Stripes rifle? Legacy Sports offers a special American Flag Chassis Rifle with a USA flag-theme red, white, and blue Cerakote finish and 3-chamber muzzle brake. Components include APC modular chassis and Luth-AR adjustable butt-stock. This special edition is sold with a Nikko 4-16x50mm scope and shipped in a hard case. Choose either the 6.5 Creedmoor version ($1100.99 at GunPrime.com), or the .308 Win version ($1116.52 at Bud’s GunShop). Note: Act soon — these special editions with scope are almost sold out!

2. EuroOptic — Minox Scope Sale, Up to 56% off

minox scope sale

Minox may not be a household name for riflescopes but make no mistake, Minox makes great scopes for the money. While Minox scopes are always attractively priced, right now they are a GREAT value over at EuroOptic. You can grab a variety of Minox scopes in popular zoom ranges for up to 56% Off. Heck of a bargain. A new Minox may just what you need to finish off that recent build. These German optics offer a great balance between performance and p;rice.

3. Brownells — HOWA 6mm Creedmoor barreled action, $429.99

howa barreled action

Choosing the parts for a custom build can be a daunting process and it often requires having a gunsmith properly headspace and build a barreled action. Now you can skip that step by picking up one of these Howa barreled actions in 6mm Creedmoor for $429.99 (on Sale). Barreled actions in many other popular chamberings are also available including 6.5 Grendel for $349.99 (on Sale), 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 Win, .308 Win and more (SEE ALL). Howa barreled actions are sold in several barrel lengths/contours, and all come with an excellent HACT 2-stage trigger.

4. Midsouth — Nikon Special 4-12x40mm scope, $99.99

nikon scope sale

For you guys looking for a bargain scope for a hunting rifle (or maybe your son’s first rifle), here’s a great deal. Right now Midsouth is offering Nikon 4-12x40mm scopes with a BDC reticle for the crazy-low price of $99.99. This is a very good scope for the money. It comes with a solid guarantee and should offer years of reliable service on a hunting or varmint rifle. Put the money you save into brass and bullets.

5. Precision Reloading — Alliant Powder Sale, 15% Off

alliant powder sale

Dedicated hand-loaders should keep an ample supply of their favorite powders “for a rainy day” (or maybe new legislative regulations). If you’ve been waiting for a great sale, check this out. Precision Reloading is now offering 15% OFF all in-stock Alliant powders. This covers all Alliant powders on hand. But don’t wait long. This sale concludes July 2, 2019 at 11:59 pm.

6. Grizzly — Bald Eagle Priming Press, $80.97

grizzly priming press

Any serious competitor will tell you that consistent primer seating is one of the most critical steps in reloading. There are lots of choices out there for bench and hand-held primers but NONE of then match the Grizzly priming press which can be found for $80.97. It features a beautifully-made system that is click adjustable to .002″ and incredibly repeatable. If you’re in the market for something that’s easy on the hands and works like units that cost hundreds more give this one a look.

7. Midsouth — NEW Sierra 6th Edition Manual, $28.89

sierra loading manual

Yes you can get starting load data from friends (or websites) but official loading manuals help ensure you’re stay within safe margins. In addition, these printed manuals provide more data, more recipes, and more details than you can readily find online. We like Sierra Manuals because they cover a wide selection of powders (from all major propellant-makers) and Sierra’s max loads run on the conservative side. Midsouth now offers the new-for-2019 Sierra 6th Edition Loading Manual for just $28.89. This is the best price we’ve seen — save $8-$10 at Midsouth.

8. Amazon — MTM Stackable Ammo Crate/Utility Box, $13.59

mtm ammo box

Good storage, whether for ammo, survival supplies or any other items, is something shooters and outdoorsmen need in abundance. With that in mind, consider grabbing a few of these MTM Ammo Crate/Utility Boxes. These stackable polymer storage crates cost just $13.59. They are LOCKABLE and they have great carry handles. Grab a couple of them at this price. We best you’ll quickly find many good uses.

9. Cabela’s — Ruger EC9S Carry Pistol, $219.97

Ruger Carry Concealed handgun pistol sale bargain EC9S 9mm

Here’s a good little 9mm carry pistol for a crazy-low price. Right now, CDNN is selling the popular Ruger EC9S 9MM pistol for $219.97 — that’s $30 off the regular $249.99 price. This gun is light (17.2 ounces) and thin so it’s easy to carry discretely. The EC9S is 6″ overall with a 3.12″-long barrel. The EC9S features integral sights and ships with a single 7-round magazine.

10. Amazon — Two Rolls of 3″ Neon Target Stickers, $14.99

Red Orange Neon 3

We like these bright, Neon 3″ target stickers. They are big enough to see easily at 600 yards, giving you a 1/2 MOA target center at that distance. For $14.99 at Amazon.com, you get 250 3″-diameter self-adhesive centers (125 targets per roll) that stick to almost any surface The high-contrast fluorescent red/orange color provides an excellent HI-VIZ aiming point, along with good contrast for bullet holes that fall within the 3″ circle. To help line up your reticle cross-hairs, the target centers feature black markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 0’Clock. NOTE: These stickers may qualify for FREE Shipping with combined orders over $25.00.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
June 30th, 2019

Sunday Gunday: Bart’s 6PPC Drills Five Shots in .088″ at 200!

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West
This would be an amazing group at 100 yards. But this 5-shot bughole was shot at TWO HUNDRED yards in competition by Bart Sauter of Bart’s Custom Bullets. And he did it with a borrowed barrel!

Be amazed. This five-shot group was shot at 200 yards in competition by bullet-maker Bart Sauter. Bart shot this astounding group with his 10.5-lb Light Varmint benchrest rifle at the recent East-West Match in St. Louis, Missouri. Had Bart been shooting an IBS match, this would have been a new IBS World Record, beating the .091″ by David Farrar in 2006. This .088″ group missed the NBRSA 200-yard 5-shot group record by a whisker — .013″ (thirteen thousandths). The listed NBRSA LV 200-yard Group record is 0.075″ shot by Johnnie Stewart a decade ago.

New record or not, this is one remarkably impressive group, shot by one very talented shooter and bullet-maker. Bart tells us he initially “held center” for the first three shots in the group. Then, watching his wind flags he noticed slight increase in the left-to-right condition, so he held 0.200″ to the left on shot 4 and it worked. Before shot 5, Bart detected another slight change, so he held 0.300″ left for the fifth and final shot. He explained: “If I had not held off for those last two shots, this group would have been about a flat four (0.400″).” Well done Bart!

“First three … bang bang bang … all went in one hole. Then I held left on shot 4 and it worked. On the last shot I held a little more, got lucky and it went in.” — Bart Sauter

In our Shooter’s Forum, Bart posted “This is my personal best-ever 5-shot group at 200 yards. I knew it was small, but was shocked to see it was a Zero! This will be a range record and record for the East/West match. Last group of the day! A nice way to end the match!”

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets .088 6PPC one-hole group 200 yards amazing

Here is the 6PPC LV rifle that shot the .088″ group. Yes that’s a concrete shooting bench inside a pretty nice cabin with hunting trophies on the walls. Bart explained: “We reload and shoot out of the Monkey Hut, especially during the winter. Most of the time we shoot outside at 100/200 from a a three-bench range.

Amazing Group Shot with Borrowed Krieger Barrel!
There’s a very interesting side-note to this story. You see Bart doesn’t even own the Krieger barrel that delivered this amazing .088″ 200-yard group. That’s right this superb barrel was a “loaner” — borrowed from Bart’s buddy Gary Sullivan. [Editor: Oh that we could all be so lucky with borrowed components.] With Sullivan’s blessing, Bart has since loaned the barrel yet again to ace Billy Stevens, who will be using it at the World Benchrest Championship in Canada, July 14-21, 2019.

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West
This photo shots Bart on the right and his good friend Billy Stevens on the left. Bart notes: “Billy is a 2-time Super Shoot Winner and 3-time USA World Benchrest Team member!”

Bart Sauter’s LV 6PPC Rifle Specifications

Chambering/Caliber: 6PPC
Gunsmith: Stevens Accuracy
Action: BAT DS RBLP Right Eject
Trigger: Jewell
Stock: Scarborough Carbon Fiber over Wood Skeleton
Barrel: Krieger — and it was borrowed!
Tuner: Bukys TSI Tuner

Bullet: Bart’s Avenger 68 grain BT
Powder: Accurate LT30
Charge: Stout load running 3407 FPS

Optic: 40x45mm IOR-Valdada 30mm tube
Rings: Benchsource Double Rings
Front Rest: Farley Joystick
Rear Bag: Edgewood Bunny Ear, very soft, gray leather — special order from Bruno’s.
Front Bag: Edgewood — same soft gray leather.

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West

Here is Bart’s target with a bullet removed. Bart was shooting his own 6mm 68gr Avenger bullets, a double-radius ogive design. The Avengers were seated about .004″ away from the lands: “I tried going into the lands and that didn’t seem to work, then I backed it off four thousandths [from contact] and the rifle liked that.” Bart drove those 68gr Avengers with a stout load of Accurate LT30 powder running 3407 FPS.

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West

Bart’s Comments on His Components and Accessories

OPTICS — Bart likes his new 40x45mm IOR-Valdada Benchrest Scope. He says that, so far, it has proved very reliable and holds zero exceptionally well. This new design features a worm drive side-focus, oversized ocular with true +/- diopter adjustment, long eye relief, and fast-focusing reticle. The 40X Valdada also boasts superb HD “double-compressed” Schott glass from Germany.

TUNER — Bart says the Bukys TSI Tuner definitely helps. He notes that once he finds the “sweet spot” for his barrel he can normally leave it alone: “With that type of tuner, I have to be in a very dire straight to move it. Normally I will set it for the lifetime of the barrel.”

REAR BAG — Bart’s rear bag is an unusual Edgewood with softer gray leather. He says this was a special order by Bruno Shooters Supply. Bart likes how the rear bag works with his carbon-stocked 10.5-lb rifle: “With PPCs we ‘ride on the ears’ — this older bag just seems to work really well for that style.”

SUPER FEET — Bart told us he uses Benchsource Super Feet for his front rest: “The bench tops at St Louis are very slick. Before I set up I’ll use a spray bottle with water and wet the bench where the Super feet and rear bag will go. This really helps to keep things from sliding around!”

Bart Sauter Bart's Bullets 200-yard East Meet West

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June 29th, 2019

Stick, Flake, and Ball — Do You Know Your Powder Properties?

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener’s Reloading & Shooting Supply recently published a helpful introduction to reloading powders. Widener’s online Guide to Smokeless Powders shows the various types of powders, and explains how the differences in powder kernel/flake size and shape, and burn rate affect performance. We recommend you visit Widener’s website and read the Powder Guide in full.

Take a close look at these illustrations which show the key differences between the four main powder types: extruded (stick) powder, ball (spherical) powder, flattened ball powder, and flake powder.

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Widener's Reloading Smokeless Powder propellant Guide

Burn Rate Basics

Widener’s Guide to Smokeless Powders also has a useful discussion of Burn Rate (a confusing topic for many hand-loaders). Wideners explains: “While a gun powder explosion in the cartridge seems instantaneous, if you slow it down you will actually find that each powder has a different ‘burn rate’, or speed at which it ignites.” This video shows powders with two very different burn rates. Watch closely.

Different burn rates suit different cartridge types notes Widener’s: “In general a fast-burning powder is used for light bullets and low-speed pistols and shotguns. Medium-rate powders are used for magnum pistols, while high-velocity, large bore rifle cartridges will need slow powders[.]

It should be noted that burn rate does not have a standardized unit of measurement. In fact, burn rate is really only discussed in comparison to other powders; there is no universal yardstick. Specifics will change by cartridge and bullet types[.]”

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June 29th, 2019

Trim, Chamfer, and Deburr Brass with Giraud Tri-Way Tool

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool
Close-up of the Tri-Way Trimmer with clear plastic chip guard removed.

Giraud Tool offers a case trimmer/chamferer device that works with a power drill (or other power source). Giraud’s patented Tri-Way Trimmer is a self-contained unit powered by your drill or motor. Using a sharp carbide blade it will trim your cases to length, deburr, and cut both inside and outside chamfers — all in one pass. That’s pretty impressive for a $105.00 tool that fits in the palm of your hand.

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool

Product Features
1. Fully adjustable for cartridge length (and depth of chamfer).
2. Carbide blade cuts a 15° inside case mouth chamfer and 45° outside chamfer.
3. Case holder supported by sealed ball bearing raceway.
4. Tool includes removable, transparent plastic chip guard.
5. Tool can work in any orientation (vertical, horizontal, or any angle).

The Giraud Tri-Way Trimmer is designed to be powered by a portable hand drill, drill press, or other dedicated rotating power source. The tool indexes off the shoulder of your cases, but the blade adjusts so that cartridge overall length (COAL) can be controlled with precision. Constructed out of 6061-T6 aluminum and 303 stainless steel, the Tri Way tool should last a lifetime. Note: This tool is not universal. The Tri Way is dedicated to a single cartridge and “related” cartridges with similar body dimensions. Thus you need a specific tool for each cartridge family. For example, the .308 Win tool will also trim .243 Win, .260 Rem, and 7mm-08.

Cartridge Sizes Available for Giraud Tri Way Trimmer:
.223 Remington (Also trims .17 Remington, .204 Ruger, .222 Remington, .222 Remington Magnum)
7.62 x 39mm (Russian)
.300 Blackout (Also trims .17 Rem Fireball, .20 Vartarg, .221 Fireball)
.308 Winchester (Also trims .243 Winchester, .260 Remington, 7mm-08)
.30-06 Springfield (Also trims .25-06, .270 Winchester, .280 Remington)
.300 Winchester Mag (Also trims .264 Winchester Magnum, 7mm Remington Magnum, .308 Norma Magnum)

Giraud Tri Way Trimmer Case Cutter tool

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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June 27th, 2019

How to Ream Military Primer Pocket Crimps with Wilson Tool

Military crimp primer pocket reamer

Many shooters, particular those who shoot vintage military rifle matches, reload once-fired military cartridge brass. This brass may be high-quality and stout, but you may encounter a primer crimp* that interferes with the seating of a new primer. There are a variety of dedicated, military-crimp tools on the market, such as Dillon’s excellent Super Swage 600 tool that “rolls the crimp away”. But the Dillon tool costs $109.95 and takes quite a bit of room on your reloading bench. If you don’t want to drop a C-note and give up valuable bench space — here’s another (much cheaper) solution.

If you already have a Wilson case trimmer set-up, you can ream away those military crimps using an affordable Wilson accessory — the Primer Pocket Reamer (large #PPR210, small #PPR175). This $32.65 accessory is used in conjunction with a Wilson case trimmer and case-holder as shown above.

Military crimp primer pocket reamerWilson

In the respected Riflemans Journal website, the Editor, “GS Arizona”, showed how to use the Wilson primer pocket reamer to remove military crimps on Lake City .30-06 cartridge brass. He explains: “The case goes into the Wilson case-holder, the same one used for case trimming, and the reamer replaces the trimmer head in the tool base. The threaded rod on the left side, which is normally used to regulate trim length has no use for this operation and it is simply backed out. Hold the case-holder as you turn the reamer into the primer pocket, it cuts easily and quickly. The reamer will stop cutting when the proper depth is reached.”

Do you really need to do this operation with military-crimped brass? Yes, and here’s why: “Any attempt to prime the case without removing the crimp will simply result in a mangled primer that cannot be expected to fire and certainly won’t fire reliably.”

Vintage Military Rifle shooters often utilize surplus military brass with primer pocket crimps.
Vintage Military Rifle brass

*Why does military brass has a primer crimp? GS Arizona answers: “The crimp is nothing more than an intentional deformation of the case around the primer pocket, the purpose of which is to retain the primer in the case despite high pressure situations in machine guns and other automatic weapons where a loose primer may cause a malfunction. As reloaders, our task is to get rid of the remnants of the crimp in order to allow re-priming the case.”

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June 26th, 2019

GUN INFO 101 — Headspace Defined and Illustrated

Ultimate Reloader Brownells headspacing go gage gauge barrel gunsmithing
This illustration shows headspace measurement for the popular .308 Winchester cartridge, which headspaces on the shoulder. Image copyright 2015 Ultimate Reloader.

In this Brownells Tech Tip, Brownells gun tech Steve Ostrem explains what headspace is and why it’s one of the most critical measurements for nearly all firearms. Even if you’re an experienced rifle shooter, it’s worth watching this video to refresh your understanding of headspace measurements, and the correct use of “GO” and “NO-GO” gauges.

Headspace Definition
In firearms, headspace is the distance measured from the part of the chamber that stops forward motion of the cartridge (the datum reference) to the face of the bolt. Used as a verb, headspace refers to the interference created between this part of the chamber and the feature of the cartridge that achieves the correct positioning. Different cartridges have their datum lines in different positions in relation to the cartridge. For example, 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition headspaces off the shoulder of the cartridge, whereas .303 British headspaces off the forward rim of the cartridge.

If the headspace is too short, ammunition that is in specification may not chamber correctly. If headspace is too large, the ammunition may not fit as intended or designed and the cartridge case may rupture, possibly damaging the firearm and injuring the shooter. (Source: Wikipedia)

Forster Headspace diagram belted magnum rimfire

Go gauge gage NOGO no-go field gaugesHeadspace Gauges
Headspace is measured with a set of two headspace gauges: a “Go” gauge, and a “No-Go” gauge. Headspace gauges resemble the cartridges for the chambers they are designed to headspace, and are typically made of heat-treated tool steel. Both a “Go” and a “No-Go” gauge are required for a gunsmith to headspace a firearm properly. A third gauge, the “Field” gauge, is used (as the name implies) in the field to indicate the absolute maximum safe headspace. This gauge is used because, over time, the bolt and receiver will wear, the bolt and lugs compress, and the receiver may stretch, all causing the headspace to gradually increase from the “factory specs” measured by the “Go” and “No-Go” gauges. A bolt that closes on “No-Go” but not on “Field” is close to being unsafe to fire, and may malfunction on cartridges that are slightly out of spec. (Source: Wikipedia)

To learn more, read Brownell’s longer article Headspace Gauges and How to Use Them. Among other things, this explains the relative lengths of “Go”, “No-Go”, and “Field” gauges. The “Field” is actually the longest: “The GO gauge corresponds to the SAAMI (Sporting Arms & Ammunition Manufacturer’s Institute) minimum chamber length, while the FIELD gauge usually matches the maximum chamber depth, or slightly less. NO-GO gauges are an intermediate length between minimum and maximum, that, technically, is a voluntary dimension. A firearm that closes on a NO-GO gauge and does not close on a FIELD gauge may not give good accuracy and may have very short cartridge case life from the ammunition re-loader’s standpoint.”

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